Businesspersons traveling with govt ministers
The recent announcement by President Edgar Lungu that ministers will now include businesspersons in their delegations whenever they go on foreign trips to explore possible public private partnerships cannot pass without a comment.
Inasmuch as such exposure may have a positive effect on our economic growth, the potential for abusing such a facility is enormous if proper guidelines are not put in place.
It is no moot point that the majority local businesses that seem to be striving today are those whose owners are either friends or family members of those in higher places. We won’t be surprised to see only PF aligned businesspersons getting on these trips.
At a time when the government is trying to implement austerity measures and restrict travels of government ministers, I think President Lungu would do well by first explaining one or two things here to the people of Zambia.
Will these businesspersons travel at their own expense or that of the taxpayers? Second, what criteria will be used to pick these businesspersons? What measures will be put in place to ensure this facility is not abused?
And while we are on the subject of travelling, perhaps President Lungu and his government will do well into looking at our neighbours like Tanzania. President John Magufuli rarely travel yet Tanzania’s economy seem to be doing far much better than ours. The same can be said about Rwanda.